Last night news starting trickling in on Twitter that there had been a bus accident involving the Humboldt Broncos and their playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks has been cancelled. There was no news about just how bad it was.
By 2 a.m. there was word that 14 people had died and 15 more were injured, three of them in critical condition. Since that point, one more has died. It is devastating to the community of Humboldt and the hockey community as a whole. Everyone has ridden on a highway bus to a game at some point. It could have easily been them instead of the Broncos.
This is not the first time the hockey world has had to grieve the loss of players during routine travel. The was Yaroslavl Lokomotiv whose entire team perished on September 7, 2011. And then there were the Swift Current Broncos on December 30, 1986 that killed four players.
There are no words to explain how to feel about this. Fifteen lives gone like that and the lives of the survivors changed forever. Sheldon Kennedy and Joe Sakic, both survivors of the Swift Current Broncos tragedy over 30 years ago, struggled to speak about what happened to Humboldt. The news was beyond devastating for anyone to try and process what had happened.
The Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks wore jerseys with “Broncos” as their nameplates tonight to show their support to the victims as well as making a donation via the 50/50 and a moment of silence. Many other NHL teams also made donations and held moments of silence.
If you want to donate, there is a GoFundMe set up. While nothing is specified, there will be funerals to pay for, renovations to homes of any victim who has suffered catastrophic injuries, and potentially long-term care to pay for. You can donate here.